Honey bees are arguably one of the planet’s most important insects because they pollinate 80 percent of the crops that constitute about one third of everything we eat. Every year on August 15, National Honey Bee Day is celebrated to honor the insect and the beekeepers who tend to them. Here, we recognize the hotels that are committed to helping honey bees.
In 2013, Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney partnered with The Urban Beehive as the first five-star luxury hotel in Sydney to join the urban beekeeping trend. The hotel now provides a home for seven beehives on a private terrace, which is only accessible to staff.
Urban bees produce a very unique flavor of honey because Sydney residences, rooftop gardens and even the Botanical Gardens have an exotic collection of trees and flowers. In cooperation with The Urban Beehive, the hotel’s executive chef takes care of the bees and oversees the harvest of the honey and its distribution throughout the hotel’s restaurants and kitchens.
The products made from the beehives are used throughout the hotel: the hotel-made honey is used in dishes at the hotel’s restaurant, Altitude; is available for purchase in the Lobby Lounge as a take home gift; is available as an in-room amenity in Horizon Club rooms; and raw unfiltered honeycomb is on offer at the breakfast buffet and in the Horizon Club Lounge. Chef Krasicki is even exploring ways to produce candles from the leftover beeswax.
Two hotels in Xian have dedicated their Sanctuary project to the nearby Zhou Zhi National Reserve Center. Along with donating farming supplies and funding, Shangri-La Hotel, Xian donated 120 beehives to the reserve. Reserve employees will tend to the bees as part of their commitment to nature.
Set to open in 2015, Shangri-La Hotel, Doha plans to set up five beehives on its roof. The hotel is cooperating with Bu Saif Apiaries, the leading national honey producer and apiary company, to set up and manage the beehives. The honey produced by the bees will be used in dishes at the hotel’s food and beverage outlets. "This is in support of our global initiative Rooted In Nature, through which we strive to incorporate more natural components and local ingredients and to showcase the best of each destination and support local trade," said Coen Masselink, general manager at Shangri-La Hotel, Doha. Congratulations to these hotels for making honey bees a part of their CSR commitments!